Meet the 2017 Hike Nepal Team: Mark Smith

We had only met Mark briefly before he signed up for Everest Base Camp (EBC), and it took courage and faith in his partner, Justine, to take the leap! He says that the last couple of years have been fairly challenging for him, with some work and health related problems (Mark was also in the police service). When Justine came home from the gym some time ago and floated the idea of trekking to EBC “I started to get interested, because I really like challenging myself and training with a purpose and trekking to EBC and experiencing Nepal sounded awesome”.

Making it to base camp is not the most important thing for for Mark. He really wants to work on just being “in the moment” and enjoying the walking, culture, and people. “I’ve been lucky enough to complete a few tough things in my life so I plan on using these experiences to just keep moving. After all, it just might be in the lap of the gods as to whether we make it to EBC”. This seems like a sensible logic to us!

Mark, in the back row, 4th from the right

The tough couple of years that Mark has experienced hasn’t been a total disaster, as he has come to this conclusion: “One thing I’m starting to understand is that you have more regrets about the things that you didn’t do. Sometimes it’s better to just have a crack at something and fail. I’ve learnt heaps more from my failures than from any successes I’ve had”. With this in mind, he plans to motivate the rest of the team by coaching them to “Focus on what you want. If you concentrate on what you want your mind will take you there”. His favourite quote is from the movie “Finding Nemo”, from Dory: “just keep swimming” (in a sing-sony voice of course!). This is exactly what Justine said to Babs a few weeks ago when she was having a tough day, and it really helped!

Mark also likes the quote “Life is an adventure. Whatever happens you just gotta handle it”. This angle will come in handy in Nepal, where transport and events are often highly unpredictable.

3rd from the left next to his partner-in-adventure, Justine

Mark’s predicts that his biggest challenge in getting to EBC is not being able to have a hot steaming shower every morning. Usually he uses it to get his “creaky joints” working, but for this trip he is going to have to find another way! Having said that the thing that he is looking forward to the most is “spending some time with Jus and enjoying the challenge”; so perhaps the creaky joints won’t be much of an issue if he is focussed on the Himalayas!

I’m not even sure if Mark is in this picture, but he was at this hike!

After Everest Base Camp Justine and Mark have 7 glorious weeks of adventure in Germany, Scandinavia, and Europe; “Awesome. When I get back: training, fitness, surfing, and planning the next couple of trips”. Mark has officially retired this year, and will no doubt find a way to fill his days with all that sport and adventure!

Congratulations on your “milestone” birthday, your retirement, coming on this massive adventure with us, and your new-found freedom Mark!

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